Mt. Hood National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Sandy, OR 97055
Indian Creek Fire Update
July 28, 2017
Fire Location: West side of Eagle Creek Trail, between Tunnel Falls and 7 ½ Mile Camp
Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness within the Hood River Ranger District of the Mt. Hood National Forest
Water drops from the Type 1 (heavy) helicopter earlier this week have been very effective at slowing the spread of the fire, which remains at 74 acres. In addition to putting out hot spots and minimizing the growth of the fire, water drops have also helped by decreasing temperatures, increasing the relative humidity, and saturating the “duff” (decaying organic material including needles, twigs, and leaves) in the vicinity of the fire.
Brush was cleared from roads in the Lost Lake area on Thursday as part of the contingency planning to allow for improved access if needed.
Today firefighters are enhancing natural fire breaks to the south and east of the fire, and constructing backup firelines outside of the Wilderness if needed. One of the difficulties faced by firefighters is the challenge of digging fireline in duff that is eight to 28 inches deep. This makes it extremely difficult to dig effective firelines down to mineral soil. Slope steepness and loose shale combine to prevent crews from being able to safely reach the fire itself, so fire breaks are being located where they have the best chance of stopping the fire if it begins to spread again.
The Pacific Crest Trail remains open, but a portion of the often-used alternate, Eagle Creek Trail, is closed to all uses. Eagle Creek trail, #440, is closed from the boundary with Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness south to its terminus at the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail. Other closed trails are: Eagle Benson #434, Indian Springs #435, Eagle Tanner #433, Tanner Butte #401, and Chinidere Cutoff #406M. Road 1310 (access to Wahtum Lake) is closed beyond the 1311 junction. Also within the closure area are Tunnel Falls, 7 ½ Mile Camp, Indian Springs Campground, and Wahtum Lake Campground. A map of the closure area is available at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5403/
Websites: Indian Creek Fire Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5403/
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